Pareto Chart

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Intent or purpose: 
The purpose of this process is to find out what the priorities of the client should be when facing certain issues.
Used as component of: 
This process is used to prioritize certain factors amongst others.
Types of Participants: 
Any types of participants can be involved in this process.
Recommended size of group: 
Remarks about group size: 
The group can be of any size.
Optimal amount of time needed: 
The time needed for this process depends on what is issued in the individual cases.
Usual or Expected Outcomes: 
The outcome is a chart that displays on which areas the prior focus is or should be on.
Level of participation: 
The level of participation is normal.
Potential Pitfalls: 
Mistakes could occur, when the collection of the data is not precise.
How is success evaluated: 
The process is successful when a chart has been created that displays the priorities of the client, and can thereby help to improve certain areas.
Type of Facilitator-Client Relationship: 
A special Facilitator-Client Relationship is not neccesary.
Level of Difficulty to Facilitate: 
Not set
Facilitator Personality Fit: 
The facilitator does not need any particular characteristics.
Setting and Materials: 
A computer in order to create the chart is needed, a professional program might be helpful.
Resources Needed: 
There are no additional resources needed.
Pre-Work Required: 
There is no work that needs to be done beforehand.

Step 1:

Together with the client (group), the facilitator needs to develop a list of problems, items or causes that can and will be compared.

Step 2:

Now, a standard measure has to be developed in order to compare the chosen items. This can be the frequency of something (How often e.g. utilization, complications, errors occur?), the time (How long something takes?) or the cost (How many resources it uses?)

Step 3:

Now, the client has to choose a time frame for collecting the data.

Step 4:

The first step is to tally how often each item occurred, or the total costs or time. Then, add these amounts in order to determine the grand total for all the items. Then, the percentage of each item in the grand total of all items has to be found. To do this, take the sum of each item, divide it by the grand total, and multiply it by 100.

Step 5:

Next, the items that are being compared have to be listed in a decreasing order of the measurement of comparison, for example the most frequent to the least frequent. The cumulative percent for an item is the sum of that item’s percent of the total and that of all the other items that come before it in the ordering by rank.

Step 6:

This step requires the listing of the items on a horizontal axis of a graph, starting with the highest and then moving to the lowest. Now, label the left vertical axis with the numbers (frequency, time, or cost), then label the right vertical axis with the cumulative percentages (the cumulative total should equal 100 percent).Finally, the bars for each items can be drawn.

Step 7:

Next, a line graph of the cumulative percentages have to be drawn, the first point on the line should line up with the top of the first bar.

Step 8:

The last step is to analyze the diagram. This is done by identifying those items that appear to be the cause for most of the difficulties.
The facilitator/client should look for a clear breakpoint in the line graph, where it starts to level off quickly. If there happens to be no breakpoint, the items that account for fifty percent or more of the effect should be identified.
In case that there appears to be no noticeable pattern, that means if all the bars are essentially of the same height, other factors that might affect the outcome have to be considered. This could be a day of the week, shifts, the age group of patients, or the home village. In this case, separate Pareto charts can be drawn.

How flexible is the process?: 
The process is very flexible in terms of the discussed issues and the time frame.
Follow-Up Required: 
There is no follow-up requiered.
The Quality Assurance Project (QAP) by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)
Selected publications: 
ISBN-10: 188473104X / ISBN-13: 978-1884731044
1. Pareto Charts: Plain & Simple by Joiner Associates, Inc.. Staff. 2. The One Page Project Manager for Execution: Drive Strategy and Solve Problems with a Single Sheet of Paper by Clark A. Campbell and Mike Collins